Bell & Ross' $4,500 BR 05 sports collection may be the perfect urban watch
French watchmaker Bell & Ross has just released its first wave of BR 05 watches, that has been described as its most urban collection yet.
Born in 1992, Bell & Ross watches are characterised by an aviation cockpit-inspired face, often housed within a square case and always boasting the ability to reimagine vintage style. It's latest collection BR 05, is the brand’s most daring line up yet.
When a watch brand goes about creating an entirely new collection, it must walk the line between innovation and identity crisis. Teetering on this tight rope is Bell & Ross’s latest collection which is all about the integrated casing and bracelet.
The spiritual successor to the BR 03 aviation line, the BR 05 dons the iconic round face in a square case, but with a few major stylistic changes. It’s squared off 40mm case is integrated into a second square plate on the dial, rounded off at the edges. Where the BR 05 makes a name for itself is with its integrated bracelet or strap.
Carlos A. Rosillo, co-founder and CEO of the brand told Revolution:
"We must innovate constantly, and create a dynamic, to maintain the dream. The evident route was to develop an intermediate model between the square — our utilitarian icon — and the round — which is universal and generic. With this new line in mind, we did not want to create a city watch but a Bell & Ross watch made for the city.”
If you’re keenly attuned to the world of high-end horology, you might say the BR 05 draws a few stylistic inspirations from Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak line.
Both watches use the integrated bracelet, not to mention the BR almost having a bit of an octagonal flair to its case. To the people lumping in Bell & Ross in with the Royal Oak, or perhaps even a Patek Nautilus, the BR 05 swings back with its distinctive rounded face and highly legible dial. Still, the similarities between the Gérald Genta-made Royal Oak and Nautilus and the BR 05 are interesting.
It's as if the BR 05 was created by Gérald Genta himself
In the words of Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross’ co-founder and creative director:
“This integration of case and bracelet is not only in line with the brand’s visual identity, it also brings another dimension to the watch: the first link forms part of the case. This type of design harks back to the Seventies, and when transposed to Bell & Ross, it creates a result with a graphic style which is both striking and modern.”
The 100m waterproof watches utilise the in-house BR-CAL.321 movement. The collection comes in black, blue or grey sunray dials with hours, minutes and seconds hands plus a date at 3 o’clock. As an alternative to the bracelet, you can choose to sport the piece with a matching rubber strap.
The watch costs US $4,400 (approx.) on the rubber strap and $4,900 (approx.) on a steel bracelet.
An 18ct rose gold version launched alongside the steel collection will sell for $21,500 (approx.) on rubber strap and $32,500 (approx.) on a gold bracelet.
Bell & Ross has also produced a skeletonized model, limited to 500 pieces, that will retail for $5,900 (approx.) on a rubber strap or $6,400 (approx.) on a steel bracelet.